About psychotropic medications

Many children and youth with mental health needs take medications to manage their symptoms and conditions. It is not uncommon for these young people to take multiple medications. We call this “poly-pharmacy.” This poly-pharmacy can be safe, but that is not always the case. Some medications cannot be taken together. Others are dangerous for young people to take at all, or in certain amounts. It is important for both these young people, and their family and advocates, to know these dangers.
These resources can help you understand your medications and advocate for yourself. They were developed by the Psychotropic Quality Improvement Collaborative, or PQI. PQI was a project sponsored by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and the National Center for Youth Law. DRNC worked with PQI and other North Carolina groups to develop these resources.


A 6-Step Process to Understanding Psych Meds before you agree to take them: learn the questions to ask before taking new medications.

Psychotropic medications and children and youth: Learn the red flags to watch out for and what you need to know about psychotropic medications.

Resource Database page for North Carolina – State specific information from the NC PQI Collaborative, including legal information, guidance for prescribers and caregivers, training materials, resources for policy makers and research.

If you have any questions or need support, please contact Jean Strout (jstrout@youthlaw.org) or Sarah Pauter (sarah.pauter@phenomenalfamilies.org).

Psychotropic Medications and Children and Youth in Out-of-Home Care: What North Carolina Caregivers Need to Know